The Gurung, Nepal

The Gurung, originally Tibeto Burman people, live at the foot step of the himalaya range. Surrounded by some of the highest mountains on earth, Ganesh Himal, Buddha Hima, Machapuchare, like the buddhi gandaki river, the kali gandaki river, tell the sacred stories of a Buddhist culture tribe.
Legends tell that Gurung used to be nomad people, living from pasture and hunting, going from land to another through spectacular mountainous landscape. Some piece of writing testify that the first Gurung settlement was seen in the Lamjung district. Nowaday, Gurung villages are throughout the Gandaki zone mainly in the Gorkha, Manang and Tanahu disctricts. In the recent past, some Gurung have migrated to the Terai.
They speak their own language, the Gurung. It is a speaking language. Among the oldest generation, only those who have the chance to receive an education speaks Nepalese.

Farming allows inhabitants of villages to live from their own products. In the village of Laprak where I stayed for two weeks, they were no rice culture . So it was imported from the city of Gorkha or Arugat situated at around three day walks. Throughout remote places of the Gandaki zone, products are carried on the back of mules, horses and men thanks to a large path network used since decades.

Also known as Gurkhas, Gurung people have a long tradition with Indian and English armies where they are recognized for their braveries and loyalty.
Army recruitments started in the mid last century has changed the social lives of villages as the year went on because lots of men leave their native villages to serve in the army. Nowaday, Gurung are still recruited by Indian and English armies but also in the Singapor Police. Tourism industry being a major activities for Nepal, young boys tends too to leave village to find jobs in trekking agencies as a porter or guide. For young gurungs, these are a precious way of making money because it helps them to afford long studying at the university and so the hope of a better life. However, these have a big impact in the demographic balance of Gurung villages where live mostly women, eldery people and young children.

This first step of my long term project brought me to Laprak and the surrounding villages.


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